"Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to milk the franchise for as much as you can." Off the back of 2015's Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, #TomCruise is once again sticking on some exploding sunglasses to play short-statured spy Ethan Hunt. Where some might feel that the series has run out of steam (and spies), director Christopher McQuarrie promises that the IMF has been recruiting again and that the return of some old friends will bring the series back to its peak!
With a franchise lasting 21 years, and pulling in over $2 billion to become the 18th-highest-grossing film series of all time, #MissionImpossible is a pretty impressive feat by any standard. While it has been high on the ridiculous stunts and low on the character development, the films have a back catalogue of stars including Anthony Hopkins, Josh Holloway, and Laurence Fishburne. However, one thing the series has been guilty of is leaving the fate of its stars in the balance. Each film very much serves as its own story, with Hunt as the only real anchor, normally hitting the reset button with a new director and cast.
All that might change with Mission Impossible 6, scheduled for 2018, it sees McQuarrie return to the director's chair after No. 5 and promises to delve further into Hunt's mysterious past. In a recent interview, McQuarrie stated:
“I’ve seen five of these movies and I don’t know who Ethan Hunt is. I want to know who Ethan is in this movie, I want an emotional journey for this character, and Tom really embraced it.”
Could we see a "back to the start" approach, presumably referring to Hunt's background-less arrival to the story back in 1996? That isn't to say they haven't tried to give Ethan a past before: He had a brief fling with Thandie Newton's Nyah Nordoff-Hall before she was mysteriously absent from the third film; then there was his marriage to Michelle Monaghan's Julia, which involved a convenient faked death and then separation. Jeremy Renner is rumored to return, but alongside Cruise, we already know that Rebecca Ferguson's Isla Faust will return for the sixth film — presumably to become the (brief) woman in Ethan's life.
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Haven't I Met You Before?
Interestingly though, McQuarrie teased that Isla won't be the only familiar face from Ethan's past to return. He teased that it would include "people you would not expect to be back." Could we be in for one of those notorious Mission: Impossible plot twists? The most interesting part is the use of the word "people," suggesting it could be more than one. The first film was almost unrivaled in its Prague embassy scene, where Brian De Palma offed 90% of the cast, then brought back a villainous Jon Voight as Jim Phelps for a stunning finale. We all saw Phelps go up in a blaze of helicopter flames, but just imagine if Mission: Impossible's original villain came back for the sixth entry?
Elsewhere, Thandie Newton's return after her stellar part in Westworld would be a welcome addition, and Laurence Fishburne always carries some Hollywood credentials with him. One person unlikely to be back will be Ving Rhames's Luther Stickell, having appeared in every film, and reportedly retired after Rogue Nation, you can't help but feel that his time is done anyway. The most likely option is that someone from Ethan's past will have gone rogue and will appear as the villain's Big Bad, presumably as the head of an international terrorist group — get sharpening those claws, Thandie!
Lights, Camera, Action Sequences
Clearly, the film will be heading down a more plot-led film, and will reportedly have an "unconventional" opening, with McQuarrie saying, "It does not start with action. That was the hardest pitch of this movie."
However, worry not Mission: Impossible fans, there will still be Tom Cruise doing his own stunts in some perilous scene that scientists will claim "would never happen." After swinging off the Burj Khalifa and clinging onto the outside of a plane, what could Cruise possibly do next? Again, McQuarrie seems to already have something up his sleeve:
"I came to Tom with a picture of something and Tom looked at it and said, ‘That’s awesome! I want to fall off of that!’ It’s like, OK, I can see it on a poster, and I can see Tom falling off of it.”
Let's just hope that continuing the success of the previous film's isn't too much of an impossible mission; the films are already straying into that territory where they start to merge into one; is this the one where his wife's a double agent or his long lost father is actually his mother's, cloned by an evil organization? One thing is for sure, McQuarrie, Cruise, and #Paramount will be throwing all they've got at the IMF's sixth spy spectacle. This article will self destruct in 30 seconds — good luck!
Check out Cruise's Dubai stunt from Ghost Protocol, and don't forget our poll below!
Are you excited for 'Mission: Impossible VI'?
(Source: Empire) [Poll Image Credit: 'Mission: Impossible' - Paramount]